This Chapter is dedicated to people in deep relationships, that their love continues to blossom and grow strong. This is also for those who still haven't found their love, that they one day find the person meant for them. To my loving boyfriend, for all he has done for me, for all his support and all his love. For everyone to enjoy the world we live in, in this moment, in this one life.

"The future is for those who believe in the beauty of their dreams"

One Life

by Ryan Keith

Part 5 -- Confrontations

Ever since Jaylin had seen his first constellation, he had been in love with stars. With space in general. Legends and myths about planets and stars had fascinated him for years.

It baffled him that although Tyler was a space engineering major, and he was an astronomy major, they didn't have classes together. They both had to take chemistry, calculus, algebra, and physics. The only actual difference was that Tyler took computer programming and an engineering course only available to engineers. Jaylin was glad he didn't have to take the computer programming course. According to Tyler, it was difficult and brain-teasing. One glance at Tyler's screen gave Jaylin nightmares. Hundreds of lines of commands filled the screen, all woven into a giant web too big for Jaylin to ever dream of unweaving.

Jaylin was disappointed that he and Tyler didn't share classes. Their schedules were very different. Tyler had to wake up early for his classes, and he got off in the early afternoon. That was every day. Jaylin had classes all over the place, but usually started around eleven. He had one-hour breaks between classes on some days.

Tyler, Dave and Jaylin met for lunch and usually dinner. When work permitted, they hung out as much as possible. Tyler didn't find the TEL building as calming as Jaylin and Dave did. Tyler told them he did better working in his room. Jaylin understood that because his brother was the same way.

The first semester had been like that, and the second semester was similar, except that Dave had a class during Jaylin and Tyler's lunch break. Still, everything else stayed the same, including the evening workout sessions. In spite of trying to overcome it, Jaylin and Tyler were uncomfortable in the change room. Dave simply laughed at his friends' discomfort at disrobing in front of males other than each other, but he envied them.

Tyler had to work harder than his friends. In that first year they were introduced into the university's credit system. A regular course was worth three credits and a reading course that involved relatively little work was worth one credit. Those were semester courses. The yearlong courses -- eight-month courses that went from September through April -- were worth six credits. Students usually studied for the eight months and then went home for vacation or worked. Quite a few stayed for the summer to gain extra credits.

Dave took a first-year total of twenty-five credits, a relatively normal load. Jaylin had twenty-eight credits, which was considered a bit challenging. The standard maximum that the university let students take was thirty credits. No one could take more than thirty credits in the two semesters, except engineers. They are required to do a bit more. Tyler took thirty-six credits his first year. At first, Jaylin and Dave had thought Tyler was lying, but soon realized he wasn't. Then, they thought it was a mistake by the university. It was in fact correct. Tyler's second year would actually require thirty-seven credits. If he planned on graduating in four years, he had to take up more courses.

With the help of his friends, Tyler was able to lighten his load for the next year. They helped him break his courses down into important courses to non-important courses. The non-important courses that were not a pre-requisite to the next year were shifted to the summer. Unfortunately, the first-year courses were already scheduled, so Tyler couldn't transfer his load until deciding his second-year courses. He had to take all thirty-six credits his first year.

Trying to figure out Tyler's course plan was almost a brain killer for Jaylin as he stared up at the stars. He had access to the university observatory, and it was unusually empty during this Tuesday night. It was one of the benefits Jaylin had that Tyler didn't, yet it didn't compare to Tyler's access to the engineering labs.

He breathed a sigh and sat up, looking around. He was alone. He wanted Tyler to be with him, but on this Tuesday evening Tyler had been noticeably tired and busy. During their workout, Jaylin had noticed Tyler not lifting his usual weight. He was worried that maybe his baby was sick, but Tyler assured him he was just a bit tired. Jaylin lay back down and recalled the past hour's events back in Tyler's room.


"Hey, Ty," Jaylin called out to his boyfriend as he walked into his room.

As Jaylin stepped in, Tyler didn't seem to hear him. He looked stressed over his books.

Jaylin crept up to his love and gazed down his neck. He smiled and slowly brought his head down and breathed in the smell of Tyler. Exhaling on his love's neck had a more disruptive effect than he anticipated.

Tyler literally jumped out of his seat and head butted his boyfriend in the chin, causing Jaylin's jaw to pop.

Falling to the floor, Jaylin grabbed his jaw and smiled up at the boy who had caused him pain.

"Ouch! That hurt, babe, " Jaylin said smoothly.

"Jaylin! Holy shit, you scared the crap out of me. Why did you sneak up on me like that?"
Jaylin stood up with ease, still soothing his jaw. "Sorry, Ty. I called out but you didn't answer. Your door was open... I didn't mean to scare you like that."

"You never do, Jayse. It's okay," Tyler said with some force, crashing back into his chair.

Jaylin felt a bit guilty. He just wanted to surprise his boyfriend, but he couldn't even manage that. He recalled the Valentine's Day from hell. A series of small surprises had become big surprises, with chaotic aftershocks. It was a day of romance that belonged in a horror novel. Jaylin had thought Tyler wasn't upset anymore about that day. It happened two weeks ago and Jaylin knew Tyler had forgiven him.

Jaylin just continued to rub his jaw as he stared at his boyfriend, who brooded over his textbook.

"So, I guess you're busy tonight..."

"What do you think, Jayse?" Tyler said sarcastically. "I don't feel like looking at this textbook more than I have to."

The words hurt Jaylin. He hadn't meant to tick Tyler off.

"Sorry, Ty. I'll go. I guess I'll see you tomorrow for lunch?" Jaylin asked.

"I can't, Jaylin. I need to finish an engineering project," Tyler replied in a monotone voice.

Nodding slowly, Jaylin understood. He bent down to give his love a kiss, but Tyler turned away.

"Come on, babe. At least kiss me," Jaylin begged.

Tyler sighed and made a kiss sound. "Now leave, before I kick you out."

Jaylin hoped he was joking, but it didn't sound like it. Pouting, he made his way out of the scholar's room.


Finally annoyed at the loneliness, Jaylin stood up and walked back to residence.

The next day, Jaylin couldn't focus on any of his professors' lectures. He idly gazed at his pocket watch every five minutes before his lunch without Tyler.

Walking down the university path steps, he tried to think of where to go for his lonely lunch. He decided to pick up fast food at the student center.

Thoughts filtered through his head. He felt bad for angering his boyfriend the night before. He had thought that Tyler was over the Valentine's horror day, but perhaps he wasn't. He reflected on the past few days. He didn't think he had been openly arrogant. Ever since the Winter break he had been keeping a lid on any remarks Tyler might think were arrogant. The last thing he wanted was to not be able to hold his boyfriend at night.

Maybe I'm just over reacting. Am I giving him enough space? Maybe I attach to him too much. Am I Tyler crazy? How couldn't I be? He makes me feel so...Alive! Jaylin thought as he weaved through the crowded building. I need to ask him. He needs to tell me if I'm being too close. I don't know if I am. I love Tyler...I can't...

The thought vanished. The image in front of him was too much of a shock. Tyler was sitting at a table. He was laughing. Smiling. The smile Jaylin had thought was reserved only for him. With him sat another guy. Jealousy ran through Jaylin's veins. He found the guy threatening. Why?

No. I need to trust Tyler. He can have his friends, too... but why didn't he invite me to join them? I wouldn't mind. Why did he lie? If he wanted to meet with friends, I wouldn't have cared. That guy's just Tyler's friend. Jaylin forced himself to believe those thoughts.

Jaylin didn't want to confront Tyler. That would be rude. If he was wrong about them, Tyler would be really angry. He knew Tyler loved him and only him. The Tyler Jaylin knew wouldn't lie. Forcing himself to turn away, Jaylin started walking. He didn't know where he was going; he just walked. His hunger for food disappeared. All he hungered for was that smile Tyler was giving his new friend.

There were usually forty people in the physics class at 2:30. Some people didn't think classes were necessary. They thought their textbooks were enough. Other people had dropped out. Others didn't feel like going. Jaylin was among the ones who didn't feel like it. He speed-walked around campus for more than an hour, and then he went back to residence.

He didn't feel safe by himself. At the moment, he needed someone to talk to. He walked into his room hoping his comedian roommate could lift his spirits. He found Dave, but he wasn't in a spirit-lifting mood. In fact, he was ill. Dave lay in his bed, and he groaned when Jaylin turned on the lights. Dave had closed the blinds and was trying to get some rest. A few words were exchanged, and Dave fell back to sleep. Standing in the darkness, Jaylin felt he had to go somewhere. He grabbed his bag and headed for TEL.

For three hours Jaylin flipped through the chapter his physics professor should have covered. He read, read, and read again. None of the words were sinking into his skull. All the words he could pick up were, `the', `and', and `there'. He thought he saw the name Tyler in the text and spent ten minutes looking for it before he realized what he was doing. He grabbed his head and wondered if he was going mad.

Realizing he wasn't getting anything done, Jaylin packed up to head for the gym. At least he knew Tyler would show up there. He could ask him about the guy he had been with during lunch. He decided he should cool his thoughts by running. Taking less than ten -- but feeling more like two -- minutes, Jaylin found himself in front of the treadmill. He bought a 1.5-liter bottle of water. He expected to be dehydrated a bit because he hadn't had anything to eat or drink since breakfast.

His pace was usually 5.0 for five minutes, then running at 6.0 for at least thirty minutes. He would then go back to 5.0, then 4.0, and finally 3.0 in the last five minutes for a cool down.

Starting his warm-up, he began wondering about Tyler again. He tried not to let it, but everything reminded him of Tyler. He trusted Tyler so much, and didn't want to doubt him. He refused to doubt him. He tried to think of anything he could have done that might have made Tyler angry. Nothing short of the Valentine's accident seemed to come to mind, but even Tyler had laughed about that, later. There had to be something else.

Frustrated, Jaylin realized his throat felt parched. He looked at the time and realized he had been running for forty-five minutes. Thinking he was done, he reached for the speed adjuster. He nearly stumbled. The setting was at 8.0! The treadmills were set in miles per hour. Slowing down to 6.0, he glanced at the chart that showed his running journey. He had run at 5.0 for three minutes before running at 8.0 for forty-two minutes. Realizing he had run almost eight miles in an hour, he took a ten-minute cool down, careful not to stop too suddenly. He knew if he did, he would surely fall, because his legs were beaten.

When he finally stopped, he grabbed his water. He took little sips, making sure not to gulp it all down. Doing that was always dangerous. He was angry for not realizing how dangerously he was pushing his body. The truth was that he had run for a long time at a dangerous speed. The beginnings of soreness in his legs confirmed it, as did the sweat dripping from his legs, drenching his shirt, and running down his face. He felt as if his shirt was soaked with water. He grabbed his towel and wiped himself down before wiping the machine. He could feel the heat rising from his skin. Never had he worked his body that hard with an empty stomach.

Deciding he was done, he stretched his legs slowly. Already the soreness seemed to be moving onto him. As he walked out, a girl stopped him. He wasn't in the mood to deal nicely with anyone. He didn't want to be rude, but he felt his control slowly slipping.

"Hi!" The petite girl stepped in front of him. "Do you mind helping me? I'm trying to do arm exercises, but I'm not sure if I'm doing them right."

Jaylin looked her over and felt like screaming. She wore a full-body fitness suit. He could tell by the vibrant colors it was new. Usually he wouldn't mind guiding people, but at the moment he had a hunch. He felt as if the girl wanted something more. She was definitely sticking her chest out more than necessary.

He turned to her and nearly sneered. "I'm sorry, but you caught me on a really bad day. Sorry if I seem a bit tense, but I'm not in a good mood right now. Why don't you ask another guy here? I'm sure you can get what you want, with those tits of yours, but not from me."

The slap was deafening. He was sure everyone in the fitness room heard it.

"You pig!" the girl shrieked. "You prick! All I asked was for help." She stormed out, on the verge of tears.

Several people stared at him, including some of the supervisors who knew he came there regularly. Not caring, Jaylin turned and headed towards the men's change room. In a way, he felt relieved. He thought he had deserved that slap.

As Jaylin walked towards Tyler's room he saw the boy he sought ready to leave for somewhere.

"Where are you going?" Jaylin asked tiredly.

"Hey, Jayse," Tyler said, smiling a bit. Jaylin felt that something was wrong. Tyler looked tired. He looked sad. "I need to work on an assignment. I'm heading for the engineering lab. It's in AutoCAD and I don't have that program."

Jaylin just nodded.

"I'll see you, okay?" Tyler said, brushing past him.

Grabbing Tyler, Jaylin said, "Wait!"

"Are you busy tomorrow? It's pub night. Can we go out, please? I... "

"Jaylin," Tyler sighed, "I'm really busy tomorrow. I have a test on Friday I need to study for."

Looking down, Jaylin sounded dejected, "Oh, okay then."

He leaned forward to kiss Tyler. If he kissed him, he would be able to tell if there was something missing. He could find out if there was something wrong, or if he was just going crazy.

Tyler didn't give him a chance. "Stop it, Jaylin, I'm late. I can't kiss right now. I'll see you later." Tyler walked off before Jaylin could stop to him. He stood for five minutes after his boyfriend left.

Washing the sweat off, Jaylin felt broken inside. He didn't know why he was feeling like he was. The weak smile, the short conversations, and refusing a kiss. He didn't know what it meant.

Is Tyler getting sick of me?

Jaylin didn't know if it was because of running. He didn't know if it was because he had had almost nothing to eat all day. He didn't know if it was because he felt empty, but he found himself on his knees staring at the shower tiles, his arms struggling to hold him up, his eyes burning as if they wanted to burst.

Jaylin didn't get much sleep last night. He spent most of the night just staring at the ceiling. He was lost as to what to do. He wanted help, but there was no one to ask. Dave was sick and sleeping. Sam was out of town for a theatre production her class was attending. It was optional but she had wanted to see it. Even Jem was not in his room. Jaylin figured that he was with Alex, his new boyfriend. He was happy for Jem, but at the same time he felt a bit envious.

Thursday was almost the same as the day before, except Jaylin didn't see Tyler at all. He didn't show up for lunch. He tried seeing if Dave was well enough to go out that night, but his roommate was still out of service. He tried calling Sam but she wasn't back yet; he got her machine. He would have gone as far as calling Jem, but he knew he would bring Alex, and he didn't want to be the third wheel. When Tyler didn't show up, Jaylin decided to start working out without him. He figured Tyler would come later.

Again, Jaylin's mind went blank. He went from chin-ups, machines, and barbell to chest exercises and dumbbells. His mind finally broke away when he was in the middle of his dumbbell exercises.

Why wouldn't Tyler kiss me? I wasn't sweating badly... He said he likes that smell anyways. Why did he look so worn out? It was like he had lost something. The glitter was gone. What's happening to us?

"Sir?" Jaylin turned to a guy wearing a gym staff shirt. "Are you using all those weights? Some of the other members might need them."

Jaylin was shocked to find himself standing near the dumbbell area. He thought he was at his bench. He looked over at the bench the guy was pointing to and his jaw dropped. He had several sets of dumbbells around his bench. They ranged from the 65-pound to the 90-pound dumbbells. Counting, he almost fell.

There were four sets of dumbbells around the inclined bench he had been using. A total of eight dumbbells! People were staring at him. The gym was half packed, a normal amount of people, but most were staring at him. He suddenly realized his arms were sore. Looking down, he saw that he held two 100-pound dumbbells. He dropped them. He couldn't believe it. He was attempting suicide. Bench pressing a total weight of 200 pounds was a bit extreme for him. He was ready to attempt an inclined bench press at about 60 degrees, with a 100-pound weight isolated at each arm. Bench press was hard, but inclined was about twice as hard.

He didn't do inclined bench presses with 100-pound sets unless both Tyler and Dave were there to make sure the weights didn't crash down on him. It took Dave to help him get the weights about his shoulder, which was the hardest part. It took Dave at one arm and Tyler at the other, to spot him, and even then he could do only six repetitions. He was about to attempt it on his own. He wondered if he had done his normal ten repetitions with the 90-pound dumbbells. Even that would have been extreme. He usually did four sets of ten reps with the 70-pound dumbbells.

Jaylin mumbled his apologies and began moving the weights back. At least half the other gym members were still looking at him. He scanned each of their faces. He saw the girl from the day before looking worried and somewhat sad. He looked into every face as he brought back the weights, and he couldn't find Tyler. He turned to the large clock on the wall. He wasn't surprised by the time. Nothing less than a meteor falling on his head could surprise him anymore. He had been working out for almost two and a half hours.

Jaylin couldn't understand what was happening within himself. He felt like he was falling and no one could catch him. He thought he had his boyfriend figured out, yet somehow he felt lost. He was lost, but made his way to the TEL building. He had to catch up with his work. He wanted to, anyways.

He made his way to the third floor to find his favorite spot already taken. Sighing, he made his way to his second-favorite spot, the second floor at the other end of the building. As he walked to the other end, he came to the platform above the area he planned to work in. He looked down to see if there were available seats.

He found some, but he also found something else, rather someone else. Tyler. He wasn't alone. The same guy was with him. They were talking, and Tyler was laughing again. They were alone, as well. This end of the building was actually empty.

Groaning, Jaylin cursed himself for being there. He didn't want to see this. He didn't know if he could stomach it.

The conversation got his attention. He peered over the platform and gazed at the two. They wouldn't be able to see him unless they looked straight up.

"Do you think your boyfriend might get suspicious that you're spending so much time with me?" the other boy asked.

Tyler turned to him and laughed. The sound was sweet to Jaylin's ears, but painful to his heart. He bent over and placed his face to his fists that gripped the railing tightly.

Does he think that's fucking funny? Jaylin wanted to scream.

He heard the other boy chuckle before speaking up again. "I can't believe you stopped kissing him. When are you going to tell him?"

Tell me what? Jaylin raised his head, tears streaking his usually calm and composed face.

"I hope I don't have to," the beautiful voice said. "I'm hoping the problem just goes away."

"It's better to douse the wound with salt. I..."

Jaylin stood up and walked away. He realized what this was all about. He walked away hurt, broken, and defeated.

Walking back to his room, Jaylin couldn't stop the tears. Along his way back, people looked at him, some stared, but no one laughed; they watched him. He didn't care who saw him cry. He had lost Tyler.

He walked into his room ready to wake up his roommate. He had to talk to someone; he was going insane. Dave wasn't there, but he found a note from Sam:

Hey baby,

I took Dave to my place. I'll nurse him back to health. Call me later okay?


With trembling fingers he dialed Sam's number. He called several times, each time getting the machine. Falling to the floor, he finally gave up. He cried like he never had. He realized he must look pathetic. He despised himself, but he didn't care. He'd lost Tyler; the best of him had vanished.

Jaylin tossed and turned in his bed. He woke up every thirty minutes. Nightmares haunted him. In each nightmare, Tyler left him. Sometimes for the guy he had lunch with, sometimes with the girl at the gym, but each time Jaylin found himself alone. During one dream he woke up roaring. In that nightmare Tyler had died.

He sat up and stared at the clock. It was 4:52 in the morning. He got up and headed for the washrooms. Rinsing his face, he stared at his reflection and grimaced. He looked horrible. He had never looked so bad. He looked pale. His legs were trembling. His arms weren't simply sore; they hurt! Swallowing, Jaylin stared at his reflection and made the biggest decision in his life. He closed his eyes and shed the last tear.

The stairs Jaylin walked down to the next floor were the longest he had ever traveled. With each step he saw himself with Tyler. Memories flooded his mind. He wanted to cry, but all the tears had been shed. He had no more tears. He was destroyed.

Jaylin waited a few seconds before knocking on the door. When he finally heard someone inside, he stepped back. The boy who answered had dark brown hair. A mysterious colour that almost seemed black. His eyes, which were usually emerald green, could freeze him from the spine down. His beautiful Tyler answered. He was rubbing his eyes, with his messy bed hair thrown everywhere. Even in that lifeless state, Jaylin thought Tyler was beautiful.

"Jayse? What's wrong, babe? Can't you sleep?" Tyler asked. His voice was normal. Jaylin watched as the one love in his life smiled. It was the smile. The one he hungered for. It was back, but he sighed within.

That had to be fake.,

"Tyler, we need to talk."

Nodding, Tyler agreed, "Sure babe, whatever you want. Want to go to the commons?"

Jaylin felt like swearing. Tyler was making it difficult for him. He wanted so much to reach out and hold his love. He wanted Tyler to say he had been joking, that everything was just a prank. That they were really in love, that he really still loved him. To say he wasn't a problem.

It took all of Jaylin's will to turn away and head towards the common room. Tyler grabbed his hand and walked beside Jaylin, but Jaylin's hand fell. Tyler looked at him oddly, but shrugged.

Each floor had a common room. It was like a living room, entertainment room, and kitchen all in one, but it was only as big as one of those rooms. There was a decent-sized television, a microwave, couches, a stove and a refrigerator. It had everything a university student would need. The fridge was big, but not big enough for everyone on the floor. Usually things that people wanted to share with other students went in there. Leftover food, or juices no one wanted.

They weren't surprised to find the room empty. It was five in the morning.

"I've been busy all week. I didn't see you much, Jayse," Tyler said as he took a seat. "I'm sorry about that."

Jaylin swallowed his sadness. "Is that all you need to say to me? Isn't there something you should tell me? A problem?"

Tyler smiled at him awkwardly. "What are you talking about?"

Groaning, Jaylin sat down and banged the table in front of him with his fists. He heard a loud bang and a crack in the wood. Tyler jumped and stared at him.

"What's wrong? Why are you angry?"

"Just say it, Tyler. Don't play like that. Say it's over..." Jaylin looked down, defeated.

He heard a scratch in Tyler's voice, "You're breaking up with me?"

"I'm not. But you are..." Jaylin stared at the boy he had given his love to, the one he still loved. Tyler was on the verge of tears, but Jaylin had already shed his. He tried to cry but he couldn't.

"I told you, Tyler. You will make me or you will break me. I don't know why, but you chose to break me. I loved you, Ty, with all my heart. I still do, but..."

"Shut up!" Tyler said with anger. "What the hell is this? What are you saying? Just because I can't spend time with you every day, we're breaking up?"

"The secrets, Tyler. I know! The lunch with that friend of yours!" Jaylin said `friend' with spite. "You skip out on our workouts, you lie to me, and you won't kiss me... And I'm a problem you wish would just disappear, aren't I?" Jaylin said, shouting now.

"You saw me with Mike at lunch?"

Jaylin hated the name now. He hated the name Mike.

"Yeah, I did. I thought I was being paranoid, Tyler. Looks like I wasn't going mad. Is there something else you want to tell me? I heard it all in the TEL building yesterday," Jaylin said tiredly.

Tyler breathed in and sat down, "Jaylin... "

This is it... Jaylin smiled at himself. It wasn't a happy smile.

Sighing, Jaylin stood up, shaking his head. "No, Tyler, don't bother. Just say it's over. Tell me it's over. Pour your salt over the wound!" He tried imitating the voice he had heard last night.

"Jaylin, please sit." Tyler's voice was as pleading as his eyes.

The anger disappeared from Jaylin as he stared at the boy who looked at him painfully. His eyes were mesmerizing. Caught up in the moment, Jaylin sat down on one of the couches.

Tyler didn't take his eyes off Jaylin. "Baby, Wednesday when I said I was working on a project, I was. If you had waited a few more minutes, you'd have noticed three other people joining us. It's a group project. They insisted on eating first. I had thought we would work on the project right after class. If I had known they would want to eat first, I would have told you. When you saw us, you should have joined us." Tyler said, smiling.

Jaylin swallowed. There was more. "I didn't work out because I was too busy. I went by and told Dave that I'd make it up to you guys. I said I'd join you for your workout on the weekend." Jaylin stared at the floor. He hadn't expected this. "And I was studying last night, Jayse. As smart as I am, I need help sometimes. I asked Mike to help me."

"But you smiled for him!" Jaylin accused. "You smiled at him, and laughed with him. You didn't smile for me when I came to see you."

"Jayse," Tyler whispered quietly, "I'm really sorry. I've been busy. I have two computer assignments due next week that I needed to finish this week. The group project is due in a month but I asked my group to finish it yesterday. I've been on a tight schedule, and studying for the test I'll take today hasn't made things easier." Tyler sighed heavily. "The times you came by, I was stressed. I'm sorry if I hurt you. You taught me to smile, Jayse, but my smiles aren't only for you. My smiles are for everyone... but you have my heart. The times I wasn't smiling I was really worn out. I'm sorry you had to deal with that, but was I doing this for us."

Jaylin looked up, confused.

"Remember you promised to take me to your cottage when reading week starts?"

It struck Jaylin. He'd forgotten about his promise. After his Valentine's fiasco, he had promised Tyler to take him to his family's cottage during their reading week break.

"I wanted to finish everything in two weeks, but the prof introduced this new project, and I want to finish that before reading week, too. That way I can spend the whole week with you."

Jaylin shook. He stared to the floor disgusted at himself. He had doubted Tyler. He had given up in his heart. He didn't think he deserved Tyler.

"As for the problem," Tyler spat, "you aren't it, babe." He quickly recovered, smiling.

"I'm not?" Jaylin asked, looking up with tears in his eyes.

Tyler shook his head, smiling. "Jayse, you're the best thing to ever happen to me. You are definitely a problem. I lose sleep because of you. But the real problem is this..."

Jaylin stared at his boyfriend's open mouth and gasped.

Closing his mouth, Tyler smiled. "It's the biggest cold sore I've ever had. I haven't been kissing you because...well, I didn't want to give it to you. These things are contagious. I don't want us getting herpes or something. It might ruin our vacation in two weeks."

Jaylin stared at the floor and grabbed hold of the sofa before chuckling. The chuckles turned into a heavy laugh. Tears of relief rolled down his face. A heavy weight had been lifted off his heart. It was as if everything crashed down on him. Everything that he had assumed about the events of the week attacked him at that moment. He found his hands holding up his face as he shook unbearably. He knew he couldn't survive without Tyler.

Something grabbed his hands. He looked up to see Tyler holding up his hands and kneeling in front of him as he, too, cried. "Jayse... I am so sorry. I didn't mean to hurt you. I swear it was the furthest thing from my mind. You bring out the best in me. I could never lose you. I've told you over and over... I love you... I love you, you idiot." Tyler smiled weakly through his tears.

Jaylin marveled at how beautiful his boyfriend looked, even with his tears.

"You're fucking mine, and no one will take you away from me," Tyler said proudly.

Jaylin wanted to kiss his boyfriend. Instead he knelt as well and embraced the boy.

"I'm so sorry I doubted you, Ty. Even when I did, my heart cried out for you, saying it was all a mistake. You complete me, babe. I'm sorry I didn't believe in you."

Tyler kissed Jaylin's neck, just below his ear. Jaylin smiled, feeling the love radiating from Tyler's lips. He knew his boyfriend still loved him.

They crawled onto the couch and held each other. Slowly they made their way from sitting to lying down. Jaylin held his love and told him about his nightmare of the past three days. Tyler kissed Jaylin's hands each time the boy told him about something he had been through. Reliving each event, Jaylin slowly regained the peace he had lost over the past few days.

Someone's whistle caught their attention. They went quiet until the whistler walked in and turned on the television, holding a bowl of cereal in his other hand. Turning in their direction, the guy stopped, almost dropping the spoon from his mouth.

"Sorry, dudes, didn't see you there," the boy mumbled, crunching on his cereal.

"It's okay, buddy. Go right ahead, as long as you don't mind us here," Jaylin said, smiling.

"No, no... not at all. I heard about you guys, but I didn't believe it. Good job, guys," the boy said, nodding. He took a seat and they watched the morning news.

Jaylin felt his mind drifting. He felt exhausted. As his boyfriend comforted him in his arms, Jaylin slipped from the real world and into the world of dreams.

"Jaylin, wake up..."

He heard the voice and recognized it, but he kept his eyes closed, trying to ignore it. He knew he couldn't, and he knew that his boyfriend liked to slowly wake him.

"Jaylin... Jaylin," the boy whispered.

"Come back when your cold sore is gone. I'm in hibernation," Jaylin drowsily replied.

Sighing, Tyler stood up. "You know... I could reintroduce the ban."

Jaylin shot up fast, making Tyler laugh and jump back.

"Finally. Let's get food."

Jaylin looked at the clock on the microwave and noticed it was 11:30 a.m. "You missed your calculus test!"

Crossing his arms, Tyler smiled at his idiot boyfriend. "Do I look like I just woke up? I already wrote it. I'm skipping the rest of the day to spend time with you. You're a bad influence."

Jaylin grinned at his boyfriend and took him into his arms. "I'm the root of all evil."

"Yeah, you are. I want you to know that I might be as busy next week as this week, so no more thinking that I'm leaving you, even if the words do come out of my mouth."

Jaylin lifted his boyfriend high, making him yelp. He wanted to kiss him, but decided against it. Tyler was right; if they exchanged kisses, they could both eventually get herpes.


"This place is amazing!" Tyler yelled breathlessly, his head out the window.

Jaylin smiled as he maneuvered his car around the bend, revealing the perfect view of his family's cottage. He turned to Tyler, who stared at the lake on the right hand side of the road.

"Babe, look to the left," Jaylin said, grabbing Ty's hand.

Tyler pounced halfway onto Jaylin's lap as he took in the view, talking excitedly. Jaylin held him with his free arm as he kept one hand on the wheel.

"Will you shut up?"

Tyler smiled at Jaylin before turning his head towards the back seat. Jaylin looked in the rearview mirror.

Dave sat there looking exhausted. It looked like he just woke up, but Sam still slept peacefully on his leg. Jaylin remembered the days he and Sam had slept over at each other's houses. He knew she could sleep through a war.

"Looks like you finally woke up," Tyler said, peeking at the two.

"No shit, Sherlock! How could anyone sleep with you around?"

"Dave's right. Even I lose sleep when you're around," Jaylin joked.

Sitting in his seat properly, Tyler looked coolly at Jaylin. "Would you rather sleep? We could always try what we did during Winter break."

"NO!" Jaylin said immediately. His grip on the wheel tightened as he tried to think of a way to redirect the conversation.

Tyler's hand over his on the wheel calmed him down. "I was kidding, Jayse. You're so cute when you're scared." Tyler moved closer and whispered, "And you're so hot when you're angry."

A satisfied smile appeared on Jaylin's face as he turned into the driveway.

It took a while to wake up Sam, and a bit more to move their stuff into the cottage.

Sam directed the three young men as to where to put everything. Despite being the guest, she immediately took order and decided where things should go. The men smiled at each other playfully as she complained about having to take a motherly role. They knew she loved it.

Jaylin fired up the grill while Sam and Tyler prepared the burgers and hotdogs that would go on it. Dave disappeared and reappeared with a lounging chair and his twelve pack of Heineken beer. Jaylin rolled his eyes as his lazy roommate sat and talked about nothing in particular. Sam saw him and made him set up the picnic table and do some general cleaning.

Although it was only early March, the snow had already melted and the weather was unbelievable. Jaylin smiled at how he and Tyler had walked around campus in t-shirts in February. Even though the weather was really beautiful, he knew the lake water was too cold for a dip. His uncle owned a resort in the area, so if his friends wanted to go swimming, they could use the pool there. He would make sure to bring that up during their lunch.

When everything was set and the food was cooking, Sam and Dave disappeared, leaving Jaylin and Tyler alone.

"I take it that those two headed for the woods or something," Jaylin said to Tyler as the boy walked over to him.

Tyler didn't reply but instead stood behind his massive boyfriend and wrapped his arms around the young man's waist. He enjoyed how his arms fit perfectly around Jaylin. He placed his head on his love's back as Jaylin simply smiled and flipped the burgers.

Tyler went looking for Sam and Dave. At first he had thought they were in the forest behind the cottage, but all he found was the lake. He searched the entire cottage before he went out the front to look around. Returning to the back, he told Jaylin their friends were missing.

"Well, looks like all this food is just for you and me," Jaylin hollered, loud enough for anyone near the cottage to hear.

Sure enough, he was heard. Sam and Dave walked up with innocent smiles as Jaylin and Tyler grabbed some food.

"Where the hell were you guys?" Tyler asked.

"It's a secret," Sam teased, before looking at her boy and blushing feverishly.

Dave just smiled proudly as he took a burger and a hotdog.

Staring at the hotdog, Dave turned to his two friends. "Don't go showing those skills of yours while you're eating those dogs. I don't want to be sick." Dave smiled. Tyler stared with his mouth wide open and Jaylin looked away with his face glowing.

The female of the group shook her head with wonder. "When Dave takes his afternoon nap, we gotta compare notes, guys."

Tyler nearly fell over. Jaylin was about to walk away with his face melting. Instead, he stood his ground. "I should probably tell you guys, there aren't any doors to the rooms except the master bedroom, so for common courtesy, there well be no sex at this cottage."

Both Sam and Dave glowered at Jaylin as he smiled and took a bite of his burger.

"Come on, guys, dig in. My meat tastes great," Jaylin teased.

Taking his cue, Tyler nodded in agreement. "Mmm, it's really juicy and tender."

"Okay, we get it!" Sam yelled. "No more sex talk while we eat."

Jaylin and Tyler ate peacefully, while Dave and Sam eyed the food on their plates. They playfully glared at the two. Not threatening, but sending the message, "We'll see whose laughing in the end..."

As they sat around drinking pop, Jaylin brought up the topic of swimming.

"I don't know if the lake is warm enough, but if you guys want to go swimming, my uncle has a private resort near here. It has an indoor pool but they're in the middle of renovating the rooms, so there are no guests." His friends looked at him with interest. "If you want, we can go chill there later on."

"Let's skinny dip!" Sam suggested.

Everyone looked at her awkwardly.

"And have those dudes stare at my perfect bod? Come on, Sam, do you really want them looking at your body?"

Dave's eye twitched as Jaylin whispered to Tyler, loud enough for everyone to hear, "I've seen him already. Not exciting at all." Tyler chuckled as Dave gave Jaylin a challenging look. Jaylin smiled at his friend and winked.

"It'll be fun! It's not a big thing," Sam pouted.

"Yeah, I could have told them that. You are an exhibitionist, Sam," Jaylin grinned. She shot him daggers with her eyes before he chuckled and sat back. "It's really not a big thing. Sam and me skinny dipped before. It's actually kinda fun."

Tyler and Dave nodded as they considered the suggestion. Sam winked at Jaylin and turned to her boyfriend, elbowing him to agree.

"Well, what if I like what I see? Would you really want me to turn gay?" Dave joked.

Nuzzling his unshaven chin with her nose, Sam whispered loudly, "It wouldn't matter. I would change you back overnight."

Jaylin and Tyler pretended to gag as they left the table. The two lovebirds stared into each other's eyes as the other two headed inside with their dirty plates.

The rest of the day the friends were split up into pairs. Jaylin and Tyler left the cabin grounds to go hiking. After an hour of walking, they made it to a thick forest path where the sunlight shone through the trees and gently caressed those who walked through it's light.

Tyler wore a t-shirt with the sleeves rolled up. His backpack, which held the water bottles, wasn't much of a burden. The problem was Jaylin. He had decided to go shirtless. Tyler found it harder to hike while staring at that muscled back.

Each time Jaylin stopped to turn around and help his boyfriend over a large jump or rock, Tyler felt his breath grow short. Staring at the half-naked boy made Tyler's legs feel wobbly. It didn't help when Jaylin poured water over his own head. Tyler watched with awe as the liquid ran over Jaylin's broad chest and along his rippled stomach. It trickled down to his dark blue jeans. Jaylin hated wearing shorts, and often stuck to khakis and jeans.

Tyler looked up into his boyfriend's eyes and saw Jaylin staring deeply at him, wet, messy hair clinging to his head. The wet look appealed to Tyler. He walked up to the boy and kissed him deeply, as Jaylin wrapped him in his arms. The warmth from Jaylin's body made Tyler feel weak. His legs gave away as his sweaty, wet and dripping boyfriend chuckled.

"You are so hot!" Tyler closed his eyes and inhaled Jaylin's scent.

Jaylin kissed his boy gently. "Only for you, babe."


As Jaylin had expected, his uncle was still renovating the resort and there were no guests using the pool. Getting his uncle's permission took no effort at all, and ensured Jaylin they wouldn't be bothered.

Jaylin's stomach groaned as he pulled up his trunks. Dave had insisted on cooking spaghetti, and Sam had insisted on helping him. Knowing Sam's lack of cooking skills, Jaylin had hoped Dave knew what he was doing. Unfortunately, he and Tyler discovered that their surfer friend was an idiot in the kitchen. To their disappointment, two negatives didn't make a positive; dinner was a horrible catastrophe. While Jaylin and Tyler almost felt like heaving all the food they had ever eaten, Sam and Dave joked and smiled about the "cute" mistakes they had made in the kitchen.

Jaylin turned to his boyfriend who was in turn staring at him hungrily. He already had his trunks on and Jaylin could see the well worked abs Tyler had gained. He smiled at the boy who was no longer skinny but had a nice build. It didn't fit someone like Tyler to be as muscled as Jaylin, and Jaylin wouldn't have it any other way. As he saw it, he was the knight of the relationship, although Tyler was hardly the maiden in distress. "Like what you see?" Jaylin grinned.

Tyler stared at him dreamily. "I like what I saw." He turned around towards the door. "Do we have to go swimming? We can go back to the cottage and do other things."

As much as Jaylin wanted to, he wanted to swim with his friends and Tyler.

"We can do things later, Ty. I really want to see you swim. It'll be fun. I promise."

Pouting, Tyler nodded his head before heading out to the pool area.

Tyler was impressed to see a well-built pool that could easily accommodate fifty people. He watched Dave splashing like the child he was inside. Grinning at his friend, Tyler saw Sam clinging to the edge of the pool.

"Okay, boys, strip the trunks," she commanded.

Dave noticed them and swam up to Sam. He grabbed her from behind and pulled her away as she yelped at the sudden movement. Jaylin and Tyler stared in surprise as Dave dragged Sam down a little, giving the two ample room to strip and jump in. Sam resurfaced with a very stone-faced Dave, and scowled before doing a lap around the pool.

Tyler swam up to Dave to see if he was okay, but he wouldn't respond. He noticed Dave was gently holding his crotch. He hadn't realized Sam had hit Dave below the belt.

He turned to Sam and watched as she stuck her tongue out at them before plunging her head into the water and swimming away.

Jaylin swam towards them, chuckling at the little accident. Sam swam away from Dave as the beaten puppy kept trying to reach out to her. She was showing a lot of passive aggression; tying to convey a message that she simply didn't care.

As gay as Tyler knew his boyfriend was, he couldn't help but notice him stare at Sam's body. For a girl she was really hot, with and without clothes. He knew if Jaylin was straight he would have definitely dated her for real, but even when they were younger, Sam somehow knew Jaylin didn't fly straight.

They played around a bit while Dave and Sam both grabbed everyone playfully. Sam even seemed to compliment Tyler's equipment. He surely blushed. He had seen Dave naked before, but knew anyways his friend was better endowed than other males. He was carefully comparing himself to Dave and Jaylin.

A smile crept to his face as he realized he was including himself in those thoughts. He had finally accepted the fact that he wasn't as plain as he had thought he was. He still refused to admit that he was better looking than Jaylin, no matter how much his friends persisted.

The friends enjoyed their swim together. The pool wasn't a standard rectangle like most. It curved and stretched and had miniature islands with palm trees in the middle.

It was rather late, and Jaylin's uncle came by to tell them he had prepared two rooms for the couples. Jaylin's uncle is gay and has a life partner. He promised to sit down with the Jaylin and Tyler one day to just talk. They looked forward to that. Tyler thought Sam might be embarrassed to be naked in front of men, but she it seemed like she didn't even realize she was nude.

After quite a bit of fooling around, Jaylin and Tyler sneaked off to a secluded area, away from Dave and Sam. Tyler passionately kissed his man as he ground their wet bodies together. That had a harder affect on them than they anticipated. Tyler broke the kiss as he look into his love's eyes. Something was poking at him. Jaylin just grinned like a mischievous little boy.

Chuckling, Tyler embraced his love again and claimed the lips he loved.

As they finally climbed out, Tyler called out for Sam and Dave while Jaylin grabbed their towels. When Jaylin returned, Tyler had all but given up.

"They already left," Jaylin smirked. "Their towels and room key are gone."

Laughing lightly, Tyler shook his head. "Those sex machines. They could at least have told us they were going."

Tossing Tyler a towel, Jaylin began wiping himself down. "Dave is like that. Under a woman's charm, he's whipped. And as for Sam, she's always been the strong, commanding type. I'd say she's the most dominating girl I know."

Tyler smiled at the thought. He was happy Dave had finally leveled down. The last pub night before they headed to the cottage, some of the women who usually hung around Dave were chased away by Sam. No harsh words were exchanged, but it was known that Dave was now claimed.

Tyler liked that concept. He stared at Jaylin and decided for himself that he had possession over the boy. However, with the right words, a few kisses and gestures, Jaylin could reverse the roles. When Jaylin worked his charm, Tyler had no power over him. Opening the screen door, Jaylin motioned Tyler to join him on the balcony that overlooked a beautiful lake. Tyler walked out and stood beside the boy as he leaned against the railing. The moon was out and full, illuminating the night sky.

Tyler admired the young man. He complimented his boyfriend's rear and admitted it was the best piece of ass he had ever seen. He looked on down to his love's legs; hairless and smooth, with the right amount of muscle to show really great calves. Tyler looked up at the young man, still shirtless, moonlight gleaming on the smooth muscles of his chest and shoulders, his face in the shadows. A slight breeze ruffled his hair.

For a long time, Tyler just stared. He had the perfect man before him, and was loved by him. Jaylin suddenly turned to him, staring at the brown gleaming crystals in Jaylin's eyes. Tyler stood like a deer caught in headlights. Tyler didn't move one muscle as the boy before him smiled. He didn't blink when Jaylin stepped toward him. He let himself go, completely, as Jaylin took his body into his arms and embraced him. Together they shared their most passionate kiss, their most hungry, and most loving.


A light knocking on the door had Jaylin awake in a flash. He turned to the boy he held in his arms and smiled. He lay with one arm being used by Tyler as a pillow and his other arm on Tyler's stomach. Tyler's deep breathing told Jaylin he was still sleeping. Tyler lay on his side with his head resting between Jaylin's shoulder and arm, one arm over Jaylin's body. Jaylin chuckled when he noticed Tyler had one leg over both of his. He stared at the ceiling and enjoyed the quietness.

Another knock brought Jaylin back to reality as he realized a knock had waked him up in the first place. Slowly, Jaylin took off the thin sheet that covered them and gently peeled Tyler off him. The boy breathed deeply and turned away as Jaylin got up. He realized that both of them were still very naked. Smiling at the sprawling, naked Tyler had a definite effect on his body. He spread the sheet over Tyler before reaching down to pick up his shorts.

Jaylin opened the door a crack to see who was knocking. A very happy-looking Dave stood shirtless with a towel around his hips.

"Hey, dude, let's go for a morning swim."

Jaylin shook his head and let out a quiet laugh, "Shit, man, what time is it?"

Dave shrugged. "It think it's about 6:30, dude. Come on, it's a beautiful day."

Jaylin had to agree, it was a gorgeous morning, and he did feel like swimming.

As the two headed down to the pool, Dave told Jaylin that Sam was still asleep, and wouldn't get up no matter what he tried. Jaylin chuckled as he told Dave the super secret weapon for waking Sam. Dave's eyes shone with mischief, and Jaylin mentally kicked himself when he realized what he had done. Sam would find out and seriously hurt him.

The two friends dived into the pool and did a couple of laps before meeting in the center and just talking.

"Where did you guys go last night?" Jaylin smiled.

"Oh, we couldn't find you guys so we thought you already jetted. So we took off, too."

Jaylin knew the real story. They had been so hot for each other they completely forgot their friends.

The two swam for the edge of the pool as Dave told his roommate the plan for the day.

Climbing out, Dave kept talking. "So Sam and me are going to try out that hike you and Tyler did the other day. And... and why the fuck are you looking at me like that?"

Dave was out of the pool and was looking down at a very surprised and jaw-dropped roommate. Jaylin wouldn't respond. Dave turned around and saw nothing and looked back at his friend.


"You have fucking scratch marks on your back, I mean a lot!" Jaylin said as he got out. He stepped closer and Dave tried twisting his head to look at his own back.

"You have fucking bite marks on your neck, too! What the fuck?" Jaylin laughed with shock.

Blushing slightly, Dave scratched the back of his head. "Oh, umm, our Sam is pretty vicious."
"She's a fucking animal in bed?" Jaylin almost yelled.

Dave looked pretty content with the idea. "Well, we're both animals in bed. When we get naked, we lose that one thing that holds us human." Dave smiled proudly.

Jaylin feigned sickness. "Buddy, that's sick. I don't want to hear about your hetero sex life. How can you be proud with that little thing between your legs?" Jaylin joked.

Dave grinned. "Fuck you, Stafford. Why don't you go back to your room so you can go down on your hung Tyler? Tell me, does it feel nice when he shoots down your throat? You know, since you can't do much with that useless prick in your shorts, anyways."

Smiling, Jaylin thought of the perfect winning statement. "Actually, Tyler shoots too much when I go down on him. I can't seem to take it all."

The face on Dave was priceless as the boy covered his ears and groaned. Jaylin walked briskly to the balcony with his roommate. He had won that round.

Jaylin and Dave decided to cook breakfast. Actually, Jaylin cooked and Dave made fresh orange juice with the orange squeeze machine. The kitchen was full of groceries, but there were no chefs. Jaylin didn't think his uncle would care if he and a friend prepared breakfast, as long as they cleaned up afterwards.

As Dave placed the last plate on the grand table they were going to be using, he heard two others walk in.

"Oh, I can so get used to this!" said Sam excitingly.

Dave smiled as he took his girlfriend into his arms and gave her a morning kiss.

"I tried. Hopefully it's to your liking, my princess," Dave said smoothly as he took Sam's hand and kissed it.

Jaylin just shook his head as he saw his own love come into the hall. Jaylin ran to him and him up, bringing out the low laugh he loved. If there was one thing Dave couldn't do, it was to lift Sam into the air like Jaylin could lift Tyler. Sam looked at them enviously as Dave shook his head as if saying "showoffs" in his mind.

"We can try that one time, can't we?" Sam asked with a gorgeous smile.

Dave looked at her and smiled, "Well, Tyler is kinda lighter than you, so..."

Sam punched his arm hard with mild anger. "Asshole, you're just weak. Jaylin used to do that to me before that skank came and took him away from me." She intended to say it loud enough for Jaylin and Tyler to hear. They did, and they grinned at her. Sam shook her head as her stomach grumbled. "Okay, fuck, I'm hungry. Screw you all, I'm eating now."

Dave kissed her forehead before taking a seat beside her and digging in. Jaylin and Tyler shared a couple more kisses before joining their friends in a breakfast that was too large for them to finish.

While Sam and Dave went for their hike, Jaylin and Tyler cleaned up the mess in the kitchen and split the job of loading up the car. They didn't want to inconvenience Jaylin's uncle any further. The jolly old man assured them they weren't a problem at all, but Jaylin secretly just wanted to get back to their cottage and chill with his love.

As they drove back, Tyler reached out for Jaylin's hand on the gearshift. The driver looked down to his hand, then up to his boyfriend's eyes, and smiled.

"When we get back, want to just chill for a while?" Jaylin asked, turning his attention back to the road.

"Hmm, I don't know," Tyler replied. "I was hoping we could get hot and sweaty, but if you want to chill... "

Jaylin needed no more motivation. A smile cracked his face as he pressed the accelerator pedal lower.

The rest of the morning, back at the cottage, was full of fun activities for Jaylin and Tyler. As soon as they walked into their room, they disposed of their clothes.

A considerable time later, two hours to say exactly, Tyler lay awake, his head on his love's strong broad chest. Jaylin was soundly asleep, with an arm around Tyler. The boy who lay awake traced his fingers over the chest of his young man, then over the ridges on his stomach and back up to his nipples. Those nips were Jaylin's weakness, and a way for Tyler to get the boy under his power. Smiling knowingly, Tyler traced a finger to Jaylin's arm, noticing the veins that showed over his large, smooth muscles. He was always amazed how Jaylin's powerful arms added to their lovemaking.

"How did I ever survive without you by my side?" Tyler whispered.

He imagined what his life would be like if he hadn't left home. He'd probably be working with his father in construction. Even then, he wouldn't be as strong as he was now. His dad only found his brain valuable, so he would be doing books rather than physical labor, and under the man he had come to hate. He realized he would be still inside his shell, he would have no friends, and he wouldn't have Jaylin. He tried to imagine a life without his love. Tears streaked his face at the thought of it.

A large but gentle hand lifted his chin. Tyler didn't struggle as Jaylin's eyes met his. Worry masked Jaylin's face as Tyler smiled up at him.

"Are you okay? Are you in pain?" Jaylin asked with concern, "I didn't hurt you, did I?"

Tyler buried his face in his love's chest and sighed. He breathed in before looking up at the boy who held him. "You could never hurt me, Jayse. Not even if you tried."

"I'm sorry, Ty," Jaylin said with saddened eyes. "Sometimes... I just... lose control. I didn't mean to hurt you. You should have told me."

Tyler wondered what the young man was talking about. He realized that their serious lovemaking had turned pretty wild in their last stretch. Jaylin had been so overpowering, so typically jock.

Grinning, Tyler said, "You big dummy... I told you, you didn't hurt me. You were amazing. Watching your expression when you make love to me is so hot. I loved every second of it." Jaylin's features eased a bit. "In fact, this was the best we've ever had. What made you lose control, as you say?"

"Just knowing I was sharing something special with you, babe," Jaylin smiled smoothly.

"Well, do that more often," Tyler said, snuggling against his boyfriend, "'Cause that was the best fuck ever!"

Surprised, Jaylin scoffed, "Oh my God, I can't believe you just said that. Well, I guess it was pretty good."

"Only pretty good?"

"Fuck, Ty, it was amazing," Jaylin corrected himself.

Nodding, Tyler breathed in the cologne called Jaylin Stafford.

"You know, if I walk funny all afternoon, I'm seriously gonna be pissed."

Jaylin let out a roaring laugh and Tyler joined in. For a moment longer they just stared at the ceiling.

"What were those tears about?" Jaylin asked.

Sighing, Tyler told him what his thoughts had been.

"Ty, you saved me. If I had gone all year without you, I'd be pretty miserable by now. Dave is cool and shit, but you gave me your love and I gave you mine. I'm not as strong as you think. Without you in my life, I would be nothing. I am so much more now that I have you."

Tyler was amazed; he was impressed with his boyfriend's ability to convey his feelings.

"Let's not think about it. We do have each other now," Tyler replied. Jaylin's hold on him got tighter as they continued to stare at nothing.

"Was I really that wild?" Jaylin suddenly asked.

"You were relentless," Tyler joked, "In fact..."

Jaylin was shocked as Tyler began stroking his equipment. "For the love of... again?"

"Come on, one more time," Tyler said eagerly.

Jaylin shook his head. "No way! I'm already fucking sore. It hurts to get it up again. Aren't you sore?"

Chuckling, Tyler kissed his love's chest, "Oh, I'm sore, but I want more."

"Fuck," Jaylin swore. "My balls are gonna fall off if you don't stop, Ty! A one-hour break, that's all I ask..."

Tyler didn't stop his attack, and an odd combination of pleasure and pain tingled Jaylin's groin.

Cursing himself, Jaylin swallowed dry as his boyfriend maneuvered his skillful hands.

The evening was pretty much uneventful. The four friends had watched a couple movies and both couples were almost ready for bed.

"Let's all go biking tomorrow," Sam suggested as she lazily pulled Dave towards the hall.

"Sure thing!" Jaylin said.

"Let's sleep in, though. Dave woke me up too early this morning."

Dave shrugged before he stood up straighter and swept Sam off her feet. She shrieked at the sudden movement but settled down when she realized what was happening.

Holding hands, Jaylin and Tyler smiled before heading back to the entertainment room.

Tyler took a seat as Jaylin grabbed the remote and clicked through the channels. He stopped at CNN to check out the news.

"This okay, babe?" Jaylin asked.

Tyler wasn't looking at the screen. He was staring thoughtfully at Jaylin. "We could be watching Sesame Street and I wouldn't give a shit." He licked his lips.

Jaylin laughed and grabbed his boy, pulling him close as their bodies melded into a position that was comfortable for both of them.

As they came to rest, both in a state of relaxation, a musical chime went off. Tyler looked up to Jaylin and grimaced. "My cell phone... "

They stared at each other for a moment before Tyler sighed and got up. He walked to the charger in the corner of the room and flipped the phone's cover open.

"Hello?" Tyler said cautiously.

"Tyler! Is that you, honey?"

"Mom, it's great to hear from you." Tyler smiled excitingly as he turned to Jaylin.

"You too, dear. I just got off the phone with my friend Melissa. She has a daughter who goes to your university and she's on her... term break?"

"Yeah, reading week," Tyler answered, anticipating her response.

"That's wonderful, dear. Do you plan on coming home? I could ask your father to pick you up. I talked to him about the rent thing. He was just being stubborn... you are still my son, after all."

"I'm actually at a friend's cottage. We're here all week. I didn't want to tell you because I thought you'd be disappointed."

There was silence from the other end. Tyler looked uneasily at Jaylin. Jaylin's smiled turned into a questioning look as he gave Tyler a reassuring nod.

"Well, I am a bit disappointed, Tyler," the motherly voice said, "but you're a man now. You should be able to make your own decisions. I hope you're enjoying your week."

"I am!" Tyler said excitingly. "I went hiking with Ja... my friends, and we're going biking tomorrow. It's beautiful here, there's even a... "

"That's nice, dear," his mother said peacefully. "Your father is here and he wants to say something to you. Don't worry, I spoke with him already, he's quite taken how much you've grown..."

"Wait, I still..." Tyler tried to say. He looked over to Jaylin who wore a look of confusion.

"Here's your father..."

Hearing the shallow and almost steel-like voice, Tyler swallowed before closing his eyes. "Hello... Father..."

Jaylin had been sitting back listening to Tyler speak with his mom. He was surprised at how vocal the boy had become in less than a year. He was like a new person. When Tyler's voice suddenly became panicky, Jaylin started to worry. He shuddered as Tyler acknowledged the presence of his father on the phone.

It was like Tyler slipped back into his shell; he was quiet, dark, and sad. Jaylin tried to smile encouragingly to him, but the boy never looked up.

For a few moments Tyler and his father just exchanged words and greetings.

Jaylin tried to sit normally and watch the news, but he still had one ear open to Tyler's conversation with Mr. Morton.

As the weather report came on, Tyler's voice suddenly got defensive, "What the hell do you mean?"

Shocked, Jaylin saw that Tyler looked a bit ticked off.


Tyler suddenly spoke up, his voice louder. "I don't see how that's any of your fucking business."

Surprised and at the same time worried, Jaylin wondered if Tyler knew what he was doing.

"Why don't you just butt out? You never gave me advice before, but now you are?" Tyler said, fuming.

Jaylin could almost hear the other man's voice coming from the phone.

"Well, obviously I'm not a fag! I'm dating this broad now aren't I? You actually thought a person like me was queer?" Tyler spat.

Jaylin didn't understand the words that came out of his love's mouth. That didn't sound like Tyler, not his Tyler. Suddenly aware of what he had said, Tyler looked painfully at Jaylin. However, the damage had already been done.

Jaylin understood that Tyler wanted to hide his relationship from his folks, but the words Tyler had chosen had been harsh.

The way Tyler spat his lies, the hate behind it, was almost as if he regretted being gay. It hurt Jaylin.

Offended, Jaylin got up, keeping his stare leveled on Tyler. Tyler's pleading eyes made him feel a bit guilty.

You've grown so much Tyler. Why can't you stand up to your father? You can support yourself, and I can support you... We already decided this, didn't we? What's holding you back? Jaylin wondered as he walked towards the window.

He sat by the windowsill and stared at the trees that surrounded the cabin. He also stared at Tyler's reflection in the window. Tyler's voice had gone back to a lower volume, but anxiety and panic were evident. As much as Jaylin wanted to, he couldn't help the boy right now. He wanted Tyler to be able to stand up to his father alone. He had no right to interfere, but he was getting tired of the lies.

Jaylin turned his head and watched Tyler. His brown eyes scanned Tyler's green, looking for something, waiting for something. All he could see was Tyler's fear; his fear and the heaviness of his guilt. Without thinking, Jaylin smiled for Tyler.

Tyler stood motionless, his mouth frozen, his eyes wide. Jaylin could hear Mr. Morton's muffled voice from the cell phone. For a moment that seemed to stretch into eternity, the two shared a gentle stare. Jaylin hoped his smile was good enough to help Tyler calm himself. He loved the young man, and reminded himself that he should let Tyler choose the right time to tell his parents.

"Yeah... I'm still here," Tyler replied to his father. "Just hold on a minute."

Tyler lowered his arms and watched Jaylin. Jaylin held his smile. It looked as if a surge of misery rippled through Tyler's body as he frowned for a moment.

Two tears traced Tyler's face as Jaylin gasped.

Oh, shit... Tyler, no... don't!

Jaylin lifted his hand as if to stop Tyler but it was too late.

"Actually, I've been lying to you... I am gay. That boy you saw me staring at the day you took me to university is now my boyfriend."

Jaylin froze. Silence. He heard nothing from the other end of the line, and neither Jaylin nor Tyler spoke.

The silence was suddenly broken by a loud noise from the phone. Tyler wasn't listening, he was crying quietly, smiling at the young man who had brought out the best in him.

Jaylin actually heard Mr. Morton's yelling voice, "You answer me, dammit! I didn't raise no fag. If what you say is true, then God help me, I'll fucking kill you!"

They both heard it. Tyler held the phone down as he brought a hand to his face to wipe the tears. He had thought that something like this would happen, but he hadn't anticipated the real pain that came from hearing his father's anger.

Jaylin walked up to Tyler and took the phone from him. The fearful boy slumped to the floor, embracing his knees. He buried his head and cried.

Anger washed over Jaylin as he saw the man he loved hurting.

"You listen to me, you fucking asshole!" Jaylin swore into the phone. "You won't touch Tyler. You won't see him, you won't hear from him, you won't hurt him. I love him, and there's not a fucking thing you can do about it."

He heard Mr. Morton ramble some curses and yell some more, but he didn't pay attention. He wanted to say what he had to say and be done with it.

"I will protect him. If you come after him, I'll stop you. From this moment on, you aren't his father, and he isn't your son. We're gay; it's simply the way we are. So blame yourself, or blame God. Stay the fuck away from us, or I will kill you!"

Adrenaline surged through Jaylin as his face raged crimson. He wasn't going to let Tyler's father win this. Tyler had told him that his father was intimidating. Jaylin didn't doubt that, but he didn't give the man a chance to actually talk.

For a minute, all Jaylin heard was heavy breathing. At first he didn't know if it was his or Mr. Morton's.

"Is that a threat?" the ominous voice demanded. The man could cut through steel with his tone.

Jaylin swallowed and looked down at Tyler. The young man's green eyes looked up at him.

I will protect you Tyler... I will protect you from your father with all I am. I love you, and I will keep you out of harm's way.

As if Tyler could read his mind, he smiled and nodded.

"No... not a threat, Mr. Morton," Jaylin said in a strong and unyielding voice. "It's a promise."

Clicking the phone off, Jaylin knelt down to the one he loved, the one he wanted to protect, the one who made his life meaningful. Tyler reached out and hugged Jaylin with all his might. The smaller boy trembled in Jaylin's arms as he tried to sooth him. After a few moments, when Tyler seemed to be okay, Jaylin released him and took his hands into his.

With his voice warm and gentle, Jaylin gazed into the eyes that had captivated him the moment he had first seen them. "Marry me."

It wasn't a question or a suggestion.

Their lives were sealed when Jaylin leaned forward. No words were exchanged as their lips met. Their love merged; their bodies, one essence; their minds, one being; their souls, one life.

Copyright 2004 Ryan Keith

WOW! Yeah, if you're reading this, then I'm happy. Millions of thoughts ran through my mind when I wrote this. Mostly wondering how people might react to this chapter. Not every relationship is perfect, but damn, Ty and Jayse's seems to be pretty damn good. I know their love is true, and I know it exists in this world. Heh, I hope you guys are pleased with this chapter. The last chapter + epilogue will be released in a week or so. That will be it for "One Life". Tell me what you guys thought about this chapter. I'll be waiting.

The more e-mails I receive, the faster the next chapter will come out! Lol. Jokes. The editing time determines when chapters are released, but I really do appreciate e-mail. I love when people write me about "Kayden" and I hope you guys continue for "One Life" too.

E-mail is

Special thanks to Aaron and his crew for doing a fantastic job with editing and providing a home for my work. If you're reading this at another site, please note that has my other story. That's a great site for guys in high school, and I recommend you guys check it out^^. Great stories there by other authors, too.